Florida’s Gulf Coast may not be renowned for its waves, but one entrepreneur believes the Tampa Bay area could become a surfing destination.
Driving the news: A 30-acre surfing lagoon being proposed by Tampa ad executive Tony Miller would attract more than 800,000 visitors annually, according to feasibility and economic impact studies by the firm Hotel & Leisure Advisors.
The big picture: The studies, shared with Axios, found that Miller’s Peak Surf Park would be a welcome attraction, a boon to the local economy and a boost to the tax base.
- 90% of survey respondents described their interest level in a surf park as high or very high.
- The park would create more than $1.3 billion in annual business output and about 700 jobs per year.
- It would generate some $30 million in construction activity.
Details: Peak Surf Park would be a large lagoon with ocean-quality manufactured waves, surrounded by theme park-style amenities like restaurants, bars and concert spaces.
- It would be a place to learn how to surf or practice riding waves in a more controlled environment. And though it’s just a concept at the moment, Miller said he is working with Australia-based Surf Lakes to make it a reality by 2025.
What’s next: The studies were based on a Pinellas County location, but Miller and his team are still looking for the right property.
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